We immediately went down to the huge stage where the remaining six of the famous Seven Sardines were just finishing a rehearsal.
The entire group came over--thrilling with excitement--to greet us.
One rushed a bit faster than the others and arrived breathlessly first.
"Is this the famous Constable Crab which is gonna track Mable down? Is it Sharko? Tell us QUICK!"
"Hi, Shoiley!" Sharko growled to the impetuous young sardine, "Yeah he's the one."
"Oh Constable Crab! We have heard SO much about you! Are you going to find Mabel and get her back before our big show?"
"I will do my..."
"Come on you sardines!" Sharko interrupted, "We got work to do!
"Well, at least you could introduce us!" sniffed the young performer.
"Shoiley, Crab. Where's Cody?" continued Sharko in the same breath.
But by this time the rest of the sardine performers had arrived and they wanted to be introduced too.
"We ALL wanna meet the crab!" They squealed.
"OK! OK! Hold yer horses! Crab, this is Dagmar and Dougie and Sylvia and Ralph and Isabelle! Did I miss anybody? Now Come on! We got serious biznes. ya know--now WHERE'S CODY?!
"He was takin' us through our new routine just a minute ago." Shirley murmured cautiously--"I think when he saw you-all coming he excused himself and said he would be in his dressing room if he was needed."
The other musical sardines glanced at each other meaningfully.
"Well, he's needed NOW!" Sharko barkeled. "Come on Constable and Starry--lets see what dis character has to offer by way of info!"
And we headed backstage with Shirley tagging along behind us at a discrete distance.